Routes In Brief: Rolling Daily Updates (W/C Jan. 1, 2024)
The latest airline route news, featuring network changes, schedule alterations, codeshares and interline agreements.
Japanese LCC Zipair Tokyo has confirmed that Vancouver will become its first destination in Canada as it seeks to further expand its North American network. Flights from Tokyo Narita International Airport will start on March 13, operating three times per week using Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The route follows launches to California's Los Angeles International Airport, San José Mineta International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. “This new route will strengthen our international network across the Pacific, while meeting the growing travel demand between Vancouver and Tokyo,” Zipair President Shingo Nishida says.
Norse Atlantic Airways plans to launch transatlantic service from Greece’s capital Athens. The airline will introduce a route to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 30. Flights will be up to 5X-weekly though Oct. 26. Ioanna Papadopoulou, Athens International Airport (ATH) director of communications and marketing, says: “The U.S. has traditionally been the most dynamically developing market for Athens and especially in 2023, passenger numbers between ATH and all U.S. destinations have been soaring, demonstrating double-digit increases versus the pre-pandemic era, with New York topping the list.”
Jetstar Asia has inaugurated a new route from Singapore to Wuxi, marking the LCC’s second direct route to mainland China. The service to Wuxi’s Sunan Shuofang International Airport is initially operating twice a week, before doubling to 4X-weekly from Jan. 15. “We’ve seen strong demand for this route since we announced it in October, especially as borders are open and COVID travel restrictions have been removed,” Jetstar Asia CEO Barathan Pasupathi says. Jetstar Asia also serves Haikou, China.
Hainan Airlines has scheduled the launch of a new service to Vietnam, returning to the country for the first time since 2020. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the Chinese carrier will operate two flights per week between Haikou and Ho Chi Minh City from Jan. 15. The route will use Boeing 737-800s. Hainan previously served Cam Ranh, Da Nang and Phuquoc from Shenzhen, and Cam Ranh and Da Nang from Guangzhou.
IndiGo has announced a third route to the new Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport in Ayodhya. Flights from Mumbai will commence on Jan. 15, operating daily. The new route adds to the existing services already announced from New Delhi and Ahmedabad, scheduled to commence on Jan. 6 and Jan. 11, respectively.
Venezuelan carrier Avior Airlines is resuming flights to Colombia after a nearly four-year suspension. Service from Caracas’ Maiquetía International Airport to Bogota El Dorado International Airport will restart on March 5 with two flights per week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The airline plans to use Boeing 737-400 equipment on the sector, offering 1,600 seats per month. Meanwhile, Avianca will resume Bogota-Caracas service from Feb. 1. Operations will be 4X-weekly using Airbus A320s.
Austrian Airlines is opening a new route between Vienna and Bremen, Germany, during the northern summer 2024 season. Operations will begin on May 6 with four flights per week onboard Embraer E195 aircraft. The schedule will change to 3X-weekly from June 30 through Aug. 31, before returning to 4X-weekly. “This route fits perfectly into our range of destinations and is equally interesting for holidaymakers and business travelers,” says Marc Cezanne, Bremen Airport managing director.
Batik Air is expanding its domestic network in Malaysia with three new routes. From Feb. 8, the airline will offer daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, and double-daily service to both Kota Bharu and Sibu. “It’s more than just connecting places within Malaysia. It's about making travel smoother and more enjoyable, offering seamless experiences and opening doors to international destinations,” says Chandran Rama Muthy, group strategy director at Batik Air.